Reply must be at least 500 words and must also include a biblical integration and at least 2 peer-reviewed source citations in current APA format.
Productivity and quality of care should go hand-in-hand, but with higher demands there are times that quality is affected from the increase in productivity standards. However, there are certain strategic methods that can improve employee productivity in healthcare organizations while not compromising quality. At the helm of these strategic methods is information technology. Information technology has become such an important part of today’s healthcare field, so much so that every healthcare organization uses it in some capacity or another. According to Langabeer and Helton (2016), “significant improvements in labor productivity can be gained by investing appropriately and wisely in technology to automate manual processes, as well as other technologies to improve access to information and workflow” (p. 42). To achieve productivity and improve quality, Pynes and Lombardi (2011) define five strategic methods. These methods include operational-level, knowledge-level, expert-based, management-level, and strategic-level systems (Pynes & Lombardi, 2011).
Pynes and Lombardi (2011) define operational-level systems as a system that “supports operational managers by helping keep track of the elementary activities and transactions of the organization, such as the clinical and administrative health care information related to patient encounters” (p. 379). Operational-level systems for information technology represents patient records, which includes medication records, progress notes, consultations, physician orders, imaging results, lab results, and diagnostic codes (Pynes & Lombardi, 2011). An example of operational-level systems is bar codes for medication which greatly reduces medication errors. Bar codes on both medications and on patient arm bands which allow for a more productive and efficient way for nurses to administer medications (Pynes & Lombardi, 2011).
Knowledge-level technology purpose in healthcare is to aid in integrating new technology into the organization and controlling the flow of paperwork (Pynes & Lombardi, 2011). This strategic level method aids in generating reports which allows for reporting for both productivity and quality. One example of a knowledge-level system that can aid in both productivity and quality is spontaneous reporting system. Spontaneous reporting systems aid hospital staff by effectively revealing unusual or rare adverse events that occur with the initial use or short-term use of medications (Li, Ryan, Wei, & Friedman, 2015).
Expert-based systems are systems that collect information from experts outside the field of healthcare organization (Pynes & Lombardi, 2011). This information is typically used to for both clinical and administrative decision making and allow for healthcare organizations to keep up with changes in the field and keep up with changing methods of service delivery, procedure, and technics in the healthcare field (Pynes & Lombardi, 2011). One example of an expert-based system that improved quality and productivity is the heart failure telemonitoring system. This system that took expert information and incorporated into a set of rules which improved patient outcomes for patients who were at-risk for heart related issues (Seto et al., 2012).
According to Pynes and Lombardi (2011), “Management-level systems are designed to serve the monitoring, controlling, decision-making, and administrative activities of middle managers” (p. 380). This system acts a decision support system for managers with a healthcare organization. It is more complex than a simple reporting system in that is provides decision makers from sets of rules, formulas, and displays that aid in decision making (Pynes & Lombardi, 2011). Staffing and scheduling is one aspect of management-level systems that can impact both productivity and quality. An important part of staff is the increase coordination among employees which many a time requires strategic use of localized solutions which aids in better decision making, productivity, and efficiency (Jha, Sahay, & Charan, 2016).
Strategic-level systems are a broader approach to decision making. It aids executives in addressing long-term trends and issues for both internal and external environments of the healthcare organization (Pynes & Lombardi, 2011). These systems allow for decision making on workforce trends through workforce modeling, future population projections, changes in levels of population need, changes in workforce productivity (for example through technological advances) and changes in service delivery (Willis, Cave, & Kunc, 2018).
All of these systems are great for improving productivity and quality, but the foundation for each of them is better decision making. Decision making in healthcare can be very complex and scary at times, but as Christian we must remember to put all of our decision, big or small, in God’s hands. Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV) says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Jha, R. K., Sahay, B. S., & Charan, P. (2016). Healthcare operations management: A structured literature review. Decision, 43(3), 259-279. doi:10.1007/s40622-016-0132-6
Langabeer, J. R., & Helton, J. (2016). Health care operations management: a systems perspective. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Li, Y., Ryan, P. B., Wei, Y., & Friedman, C. (2015). A method to combine signals from spontaneous reporting systems and observational healthcare data to detect adverse drug reactions. Drug Safety, 38(10), 895-908. doi:10.1007/s40264-015-0314-8
Pynes, J., & Lombardi, D. N. (2011). Human Resources Management for Health Care Organizations. Chichester: JOSSEY BASS WILEY.
Seto, E., Leonard, K. J., Cafazzo, J. A., Barnsley, J., Masino, C., & Ross, H. J. (2012). Developing healthcare rule-based expert systems: Case study of a heart failure telemonitoring system. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 81(8), 556-565. doi:10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2012.03.001
Willis, G., Cave, S., & Kunc, M. (2018). Strategic workforce planning in healthcare: A multi-methodology approach. European Journal of Operational Research, 267(1), 250-263. doi:10.1016/j.ejor.2017.11.008